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NAPTIN, WAPP begin training of 80 electricity workers from Liberia

By Yange Ikyaa 

In its continuous efforts to develop effective human capacity in the power sector across Africa, the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) has commenced the training of 80 electricity workers from the Liberia Electricity Company (LEC) on power generation, distribution and transmission.

The four-week programme, which is being sponsored by the West African Power Pool (WAPP) and funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), is aimed at promoting West African countries’ integration into a unified power sector, while sharing experiences among the respective countries within the ECOWAS sub-region.

Speaking at the launch of the programme in Lagos on Thursday, the NAPTIN’s acting Director-General, Eng. Ahmed Nagode, said that WAPP came together to help grow and improve the technical skills of LEC personnel, adding that the trainees would in turn use this acquired knowledge to resolve their nation’s power challenges.

“Leveraging on the strength of one another through proper synergy has proven to be a catalyst for growth and development. World-class companies and institutions have at one time or another sought partnership with each other to grow.

“WAPP has worked for many years with training providers to establish programs that put in place the necessary instruments for the skilled manpower needed in the power utilities of its members countries,’’ he said.

Nagode said that the course was designed in groups to be trained at Lagos and Kainji Dam in Niger State.

According to him, the objective of the training is to improve their capacity on electricity generation, customer care, basic power system protection, distribution and transmission network.

“The training will also increase their capacity in effective power supply and revenue collection.

“The second WAPP programme training scholarship for LEC staff was funded by AfDB with about $130,000  focused on value creation themed in discussing practical examples, various approaches and potentials,’’  the NAPTIN boss further explained. 

He said that the courses would include – power distribution, maintenance and repairs, power transmission network and substations operation maintenance.

Other courses, he said, are commercial operations (metering, sales invoicing, customer relations and accounting).

Nagode commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration on its power sector recovery plan, which he said sought to ensure incremental and uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria.

He also lauded Eng. Usman Gur Mohammed, the chairman of WAPP, who also doubles as Chief Executive Officer of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, for their efforts in building human capacity in the power sector in Nigeria, West Africa and beyond.

The NAPTIN boss said that the event could be perceived in a sense as part of its contributions in fulfilling the Medium-Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) objectives of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

“The West African Power Pool is a regional body of ECOWAS, which is made up of 29 power utilities of West African States with the vision to have a unified regional electricity market in West Africa through a national power system operations. Its vision is to have a unified regional electricity market in West African through a national power system,’’ the NAPTIN boss added.

Mr. Babab Jarjusey, the Director, Admin and Finance, WAPP ,  said that the vision of the association was to integrate the national power systems into a unified regional electricity market.

Jarjusey said that the association’s vision also dwells on a regular and reliable energy at competitive cost to the citizenry of the ECOWAS region.

He said that the association’s mission was to promote and develop power generation and transmission infrastructure, as well as coordinate power exchange among the ECOWAS member states.

In his remarks, Mr Mamadun Alpha-Sylla, Director, Training Coordination, Capacity building Programme, commended NAPTIN for the bold steps taken in ensuring adequate training for LEC staff through the collaboration of WAPP, while urging the trainees to remain focused to achieve desired goals.

Alpha-Sylla said that Liberia has been transformed in terms of electrification efficiency, which he said was one of the WAPP objectives and commitment to train staff of LEC.

According to him, “we are also planning with NAPTIN on LEC staff assessment programmes in ensuring efficiency on their fields. I appeal to trainees to be more dedicated in replicating what you leant here back home when you get to your country.”

One of the trainees, Mrs Mille Williems, assured the management of WAPP and NAPTIN that the trainees will replicate what they will learnt in Nigeria back home in their country. Williems said that the programmes undertaken by staff of LEC through NAPTIN were massive and instructive, adding that “it’s truly a practical training which has been an eye opener to everyone.”